Why the NFL isn’t popular outside the states

Recently I have witnessed American style football leagues popping up in Asia, Western Europe and even Israel. While I am extremely excited about the prospect of a worldwide football league (WFL :) ) I am skeptical of it taking hold. Why? Units!

Yes, once again the issue of no SI units bites us. The U.S. briefly thought about this last year when Ralph Wilson (95), founder and owner of the Buffalo Bills, died and his family put the team up for sale. Many proposals were on the table including one from Toronto. Early October, we again had a flash of this obstruction when the NY Jets played the Miami Dolphins in London at Wembley Stadium. Many fans were lost in the game’s slang.

To go worldwide, NFL or WFL would have to go metric. Some obvious conversions the NFL would have to accept:

  • Length of the field needs to be 91.44m
  • First down is 9.144m

Some of the new phrasing that may lose the American audience:

  • Its fourth and 5.08cm
  • He ran a 4.4 35.567m at the combine
  • Linemen weigh 158.757kg

Can you imagine if the press/NFL falsely accused Tom Brady of deflating footballs by 13,789.515 Pa? Oh wait, they did that.

Anyway, until the US accepts the SI system of units, the WFL may have to wait.

As an aside, the NFL is not using roman numerals for Superbowl 50. So change is possible.

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